IMDC Observance of Religious Holidays

File:  IMD-C


The United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Massachusetts and related court rulings clearly establish the concept of "church and state separation" and the "preclusion of sectarian instruction in public schools."

The observance of religious holidays is not the responsibility of the public schools.

Part of the responsibility of the Shutesbury Public Schools is to teach mutual understanding, brother/sisterhood, and respect for all individuals and beliefs. In pursuit of this goal the District is cognizant of the fact that holidays are observed differently by different groups. Religious belief and disbelief are personal matters and not associated with government operations. Some religious holidays are also historically and culturally significant.

In order to help staff members abide by the spirit and letter of the law, and to avoid compromising any student's religious or conscientious beliefs or freedoms, the following should serve as guidance:

  • The purposes and objectives of any religious holiday activities shall be related to the historical and cultural effect of that day/days and such activities will remain secular.


  • Educational opportunities may provide students with opportunities to understand religious events and customs.

Equitable time and opportunity should be provided for educational opportunities regarding holiday events from various religions.

Vote to Amend: 03-20-14